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Sunday, 30 April 2017

Suppose They Gave A War And Nobody Came!

Saturday 29th April

                           
  Due to sometimes charging into things without even thinking(always my mother would have said) I decided to volunteer to put on a game on behalf of a combination of Shug's League of Unpopular Wargamers and South East Wargames Club at a couple of forthcoming events(Thankless task quoted Colin).At this moment I'm still enthusiastic-ask me again in a couple of weeks.
Colin about to give some scenery advice.

Bill waiting on his bacon roll.


The north island before the onslaught

Buildings left over from when the Venitian's were the top dogs.
                              Anyway,I have always wanted to put on a game based on a WW2 attack on an Aegean Island.I had thought of doing Crete but that would involve an awful lot of figures and logistics so I plumped for a variation of a scenario I had seen about twenty odd years ago in a magazine involving a combined air and sea attack on a small Greek island.So I planned for a dummy run in our local hostelery so I could iron out and get some constructive criticism from the more experienced gamers.I invited about a dozen of the usual gamers but on the day we ended up with a total of four of us-comme ci comme ca.
The initial drop

Beware of Greek's bearing gifts.Every one a 65mm.

The scattering of eagles
                                  The game involved as I've said already with a combined air and sea assault on the Island of Pouthena(Nowhere in Greek).The scenario was that this little island or atoll situated east of Crete could prove a thorn in the side of German ambitions in the East Med so a scratch force was taken away from the Crete invasion to deal with this threat.Consisting of a battalion of German paratroopers,a battalion of German mountain troops and a battalion of Italians supported by some hastily gathered armour.These forces were pitted against a hastily formed force of Greeks and British Commonwealth forces who have just been evacuated from mainland Greece.
The Greeks don't want no freaks!

The invasion force sets sail and not an Italian in sight

Empty boats about to head back for more reinforcements
                            The Allies dug in and awaited their fate which wasn't long in coming.The rules I used were the ubiquitous Bolt Action Rules with added paratroop rules borrowed from Rapid fire which consists of dropping one inch square pieces of paper for every individual soldier or piece of equipment dicing for their fate if they hit an obstacle on landing.
                            Dave O'Brien was put in charge of the paras and mostly due to luck and dodgy paper dropping landed most ofhis forces safely and was quick to engage the Greek defenders which their leader(me) hadn't exactly put in the best of defensive positions and didn't take long to secure most of the northern island.
                          Meanwhile in the south island Bill Miller's amphibious landing was plodding along and before we stopped for a sumptuous lunch his forces were ready to swamp the landing beach.
"Tanks a Bundle"

Here comes the good guys

A big bully about to be dealt with.
              After lunch the game restarted with the appearance of a Henschel dive bomber arriving to attack Colin's forces on the southern island causing slight mayhem but not much else.
Hello boys
                 
Reception committee
Looking for targets whilst avoiding flak
Dave's forces on the northern island were apart from a couple of hiccups steamrollering their way to the objective which was the harbour facilities on both sides of the islands.
Searching for cover


Dave's lads about to sprint for the bridge
                         On the southern island Colin and Bill's forces were having a right slogging match with plenty of hand to hand fighting which at one point units were lining up ready to get involved in the ever evolving punch up which ended up with a band of partisans being the last men standing but they themselves were wasted  by some nasty machine gun fire.Boo Hiss!
                          The game came to an end as Dave was out gallivanting in the evening hence the reason he was charging about the island like a man possessed.On the south island a stalemate had occurred and since the Italian's were nowhere to be seen the game was brought to an end.
                  A good game and a chance to play it out before getting rid of some rough edges and giving it a tarting up before the WW2 re-enactment day at East Fortune next Sunday 7th May.Further details can be found on the webpage.
                             http://www.nms.ac.uk/national-museum-of-flight/whats-on/wartime-experience/
                      My thanks to Colin Jack,Dave O'brien and Bill Miller for coming along to the Gothenburg to playtest and also help with their advice and constructive criticism and also to the gorgeous girls behind the bar and the not so gorgeous chef for the welcoming bacon rolls and the delicious lunch.http://www.prestoungrange.org/gothenburg/
                         See you next week for the second game report and also some pics and chit chat from East Fortune.
                                See you when I see you.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Morte a Venezia

Wed 5th April

                      Last minute game arranged for tonight as Bill's wife Helena had to nip back to Moscow to take care of some business so Bill was at a loose end so what setting did we have for our game when your wife is in Russia,why Italy of course namely Venice.
No real difference from the above picture


A couple of picture postcard views.
                      Colin had wanted to play a Victorian game based on In Her Majesty's Name for a wee while so I turned up expecting a nice London based game.I've known Colin for some time and have realised a long time ago his games are never the norm and tonight was no exception.
Downtown Venice

                        Colin had used this game for the premier showing of his new Venitian buildings which as you can see are amazing and with the addition of all the happy Italians going about their daily business made for a very nice setting.
The Bridge of Size!

"Altogether now!"
                      Our gangs however were all about as unItalian as could be.Colin's gang in his usual manner consisted of Teutonic girl sea cadets from the Arsenale Cadet Company led by Corto Maltese,a comic book Italian sea capitan.Bill's company consisted of the Ottoman Counter Intelligence Service consisting of some rough looking Turks suitably attired with the ubiquitous Fez led by Bashi Karabekir,all round good guy.Having seen these two companys I thought how novel mine was going to be and I wasn't disappointed.My gang consisted of the crew of the airship Harmony who looked an awful lot like Malcom Reynold's crew from Firefly and complete with the same names.
The Harmony with a Belgian flag of Inconveniance
Some well known faces.
Colin's Signorinas

Turkish Undelight
                    The object of the game was the usual shooting and looting this time around the Piazzas and vicolos(alleys) of downtown 19th century Venice.
Newly married chap checking the small print in the newly fresh marriage certificate.
                           Object markers were scattered around various points of the board and certain ones corresponded with certain artefacts of differing point values.
Bill's mob pushing their way through the seething throng.

My guys out for an evening stroll taking in the ambiance.
                             The starting gun was sounded and off we headed for all the markers that were on display interspersed with trying to get your opponents into firing range.The rules of the game are very basic consisting of the usual moving and shooting and after all the markers on the peripheries were quickly accounted for all gangs headed towards the central piazza for the inevitable brawl.
Typical Turks shooting and looting.

                     Bill's company gathered all the markers in the park and headed over one of the canal bridges knocking innocent bystanders out of their way in pursuit of glory for the Ottoman Empire whilst Colin's company headed into the piazza with Corto Maltese and a couple of his ruffian sailors heading up through one of the buildings to get a better spot to shoot at my gang who were just ambling their way towards the piazza minding their own business and enjoying the sights stopping off for a chit chat with Captain Nemo on the way.
"I wonder where I could get a seafood pizza?"

"Oh hello,Captain Nemo at your service."
                                Bill's company eventually reached the Vicolo della Morte (alley of death)whereupon he let loose with a hail of bullets towards Colin's girl's who were skulking Adamsonlike on the piazza obviously looking for tips from the ladies of ill repute who were in the vicinity.
Turkish skulking.
              Not much damage was done by the initial shooting so Bill moved his gang nearer to get up close and personal so the could get down and dirty with their knives.Typical Turks.Not that Colin's gang were shrinking violets as they were up for a scrap, hairpins and all.
No that is not Angus.

                    My gang headed over a canal bridge and immediately came under fire from Maltese's henchmen which was immediately returned by Zoe to give cover for the rest of the gang who were heading towards the developing brawl that was ensuing on the piazza.
Devious Matelots
                  From the resulting gunfire the words barndoor could be used if there were such things in Venice but I doubt it so a Venitian standoff developed between the two parties and nothing much happened damage wise between these two parties for the rest of the game.
"100 lira for a short time?""I havn't had 100 lira for a long time." 
                   Bill's gang waded into the girls in true Turkish form with knives and handbags in abundance all around with most damage and losses being taken by Colin's girls.To add insult to injury some of my company finally got to grips with Colin's girls as well and inflicted a loss on his gang.
About to enter the "Vicolo della Morte"
                Not wanting Bill to be left out my character Mal after dealing with Colin's girl headed straight for one of his Turks ready to dispatch him but after an initial blows the final whistle was blown due to the time.
"Hoy Malcom wanna party?"

Jayne asking Sydney Greenstreet the way to Rick's cafe.

Wash telling this young signorina that his wife is just behind him.
                  I thought that I had done okay but after the marker scores had been divvied up I found that all my markers were worthless and the only points I had gained were for dispatching Colin's fraulein-bummer.
Shepherd Book looking for inspiration

Where did you get that hat Jayne?
                      A great game in an unusual but fantastic setting with some excellent figures all provided by Colin who also provided all the scenery which are still a work in progress.
                        The only drawback to this game is that it has given me an interest in Venice which is a place I have never been to(groans from Lady Watson) and an excursion idea for the future.
                             See you when I see you






















Thursday, 30 March 2017

Up the River without a paddle.

Wed 29th March
"Left a poor job in the city"

               Feeling as though it was a long time since my last game I was glad of the chance to head out for Bill's mansion to indulge in an American Civil War clash involving amongst other things paddleboats.
                        Four of us trooped out to indulge in our toy soldier pastime and after being well fed by our delightful hostess Helena who once again must have thought that we all needed a right good feeding waddled off towards the game room and prepared for the evening's scrap.
Thee green,green grass of home!

                   The scenario was planned by Bill himself using the fictional setting of the Northumberland River somewhere in Tennessee and involved a Union attack on a Confederate fort and this attack was to be supported by Union naval units in the form of a paddlesteamer and an Ironclad.
The object of the Union's desire.
"With a rebel yell,she cried more,more,more!
                      On the face of it Donald our supreme commander and myself thought we were in for a short evening but what we didn't know that although Dave and Colin had a lot more figures than us they weren't of very good qualiy.
The Yanks are coming.
                                  Colin and Dave's forces came at us en masse but due to the vagaries of the rules they came to a grinding halt after a promising opening move and to complement this happening Bill couldn't have moved the boats any faster if he had got out and pushed.
No Mr Ray to defend the flag
                                    My own forces were encamped behind some earthworks so I was quite content to bide my time before rushing Dave's forces contending myself with taking pot shots at him to reduce his numbers before I went for the throat.
Come and get me!
                                     Colin decide to charge up the middle and actually moved further in his first move than he had done in our previous encounter four weeks previous.After I had informed him of this point he came to a thundering halt short of Donald's fort.Colin is not one for dirty looks but the look after that comment and its outcome would have sunk a thousand ships.
Charge!
                                           Bill still plodded up the river albeit due to being disordered which came about after a few hits from Donald's siege guns ensconsed in his fort.His garrison were all gathered in the inside of the fort only coming up occasionally coming up to take the occasional pot shot much to Dave's displeasure.
                          Meanwhile in front of my positions Dave had advanced up far enough for my rifles to join my cannon in peppering one of his units making them head for the hills after a few hits.Maybe it was our night after all for a change.
Union reinforcements?
                           Colin brought on some units on Donald's flank making Donald manoeuvre his infantry all over the place like some mad Tennessee waltz eventually forming some misshaped rectangle as opposed to a square but covering all sides.
Donald's square dance
It's either the three Union Commanders or Curly,Larry and Moe
                           Obviously the Union plan was to get near the fort under cover of their artillery and then go for broke.Dave's middle units were the first to go for broke but after charging,climbing fences and other obstacles found themselves repulsed by Donald's marines who were encamped in the fort and forced them to head back the way they came licking their wounds on the way.Colin tried to attack similarly but found his units were not up to the task.
Rebel without a clue.
                                Although Bill's boats weren't making much headway movement wise some of his cannon fire his paddlesteamer began to find their targets temporarily putting one of Donald's siege guns out of use but this I think was the highlight of Bill's gaming evening as it took practically all evening to move the paddlesteamer far enough up river to get the  Ironclad on the table but when it did it made a marvellous sight seeing both boats on the table.
Take that Johnny Reb.
                             
Hey is that Ambrose Burnside
  As time was ticking on and I was whittling down Dave's flanking forces I decided to bring two of my units around my positions and hit Dave in the flank but then realised it was nearly full time and I found I had left it a tad late.Wouldn't be like me.
My cinc facing the wrong way-obviously ready for the off.
Preparing to repel boarders
                             In the middle both Colin and Dave went for broke but Donald's fort held firm like a breakwater and threw back all unwanted suitors.Colin's flanking forces had marched up the road did a detour towards the river but still couldn't make any headway against Donald's infantry.
                               A score draw was decided on albeit with a wee bit frustration on my part for not committing my forces earlier.
Obviously not using smoke less coal.
                                   Another great evening and it was a pleasure to take part in this game especially with the bots on view.Bill also had both Union and Confederate marines on display which he has had for years but never a chance to play them.I must admit they look very tempting but I have been unlucky trying to find them which is maybe a good thing.
Before the off

                       Figures were supplied by Bill,Dave,Donald and even Mr Ray even although he wasn't there as he was continuing his rock comeback in the good old US of A.
                        Hopefully we'll see you soon.Putting a WW2 Aegean game on at Carronade nd  East Fortune WW2 re-enactment day in early May.
                         See you when I see you.
                                                 More pics and info can be found on Bill Gilchrist's Blenheim to Berlin blog.
                         http://blenheimtoberlin.blogspot.co.uk/